How do I know, without a doubt, I need to do a slingshot week?
I just stop caring. It’s not in the way that I’ve moved over to the “dark side” and I’m scarfing bags of chips or entire pints of Ben and Jerry’s. It’s in the way that when it’s time to eat or shop for food I just have a serious case of the “mehs” and the “blahs.” Nothing sounds good. Nothing feels good when I eat it–and that’s not in the comforting sort of “feels good” but in the “I feel good for caring for my body”–and so my meal intervals become later and later which leads to hungry and a serious case of crankies. I also tend to forget about drinking water.
So what is a slingshot week?
Technically, it is seven high carb days in a row.
Do I always do seven high carb days?
And here’s why, with gluten so newly off my list I am still in the process of finding gut-friendly carbs to eat. I absolutely refuse to pay $7 for a loaf of gluten-free bread just to have a slice so IF I eat bread it’s on reward day only. I have found I can eat things like corn bread or wheat-carb-reduced tortillas without intestinal distress but in the back of my mind I always worry I am undoing all the healing abstaining from gluten accomplishes so I usually avoid bread and bread-like products altogether. Besides, I have yet to build my repertoire of carb laden substitutes.
Maybe that sounds like a lame cop-out but cooking and baking GF is obnoxious, to say the least. The special flours and stabilizers–one that costs upward of $12 a pound–are just not budget-friendly. But, with months of research, I have found a few ways to avoid many of the spendy ingredients and I have collected some recipes so I am ready to try homemade versions of some of the foods missing from my diet.
In other words, my slingshot weeks look an awful lot like regular carb cycling weeks but with a few extra calories each day. I also relax the rules a little bit and add a healthy treat or two but without gluten they’re all homemade, whole food treats and not processed junk which add to my carb counts. And yes, I do realize the danger of swapping-in those extra treats so before you get fussy you need to know my definition of a treat looks a lot like two black bean brownies–beans, coconut sugar, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and an egg–or about 200 calories of real food.
Another unmistakable way I know it’s time to slingshot is my weight wobbles. I’ve decided that “wobbles” is the technical term too.
What are the wobbles?
A wobbly scale drops a few pounds one day and then puts them right back on the next and the process repeats all week with no sustained loss. I have learned this is my body’s way of saying, “I’m stuck.” It can also mean that I’m a bit fed up and not doing my part more than 80-percent of the time.
Right now, it’s about 75-percent natural, normal wobbling and 25-percent of me just not having my head on right coupled with my life getting turned upside down and I haven’t found my new groove just yet.
I know the thought of all those extra carbs can be hard to swallow (pun intended) and this is where the mental work of weight loss has to take over.
When you are tired, you take a nap.
When you are hungry, you eat.
Thirsty, you drink.
When your thyroid goes whack-a-doodle, you take a pill.
When the scale goes wobbly and the results of your hard work won’t stick no matter how many times you step on it or where you move it to on the floor, then you slingshot.
Think of slingshot week as a vacation, or medication, for your metabolism. After all it has been burning pretty hard for you and now it is time to give it a week to recover.
I have been at this for almost exactly 10 months and it has not been until the last two or three that I really latched on to the power of the slingshot. So this is where I am going to use my writer skills to break the word “slingshot” down for you.
When I close my eyes I think of a forked stick with some sort of rubber/stretchy material used to launch a rock.
Now why would you need a slingshot? To throw that rock even farther than you could with your own muscles. No matter your prowess at throwing things the human body can only launch a rock so far and if it needs to go farther you need help: a slingshot.
So you, for all your carb-cycling-calorie-burning awesomeness, can only ever take your body so far before your body says, “Whoa.”
Your choices are to sit there stuck and frustrated.
Or, you can grab a slingshot and launch your metabolism back into high gear.
Now, do those few extra carbs still look like more than you can swallow?
If the honest to goodness answer is yes, then do not add them.
Yep, I am going to go out on a limb and say do NOT force feed yourself bread and potatoes but do eat the extra calories for a whole week. Add things you normally would not eat at times you would not eat them. Have dessert for breakfast and oatmeal for dinner, for example. One of my favorite reward foods are my black bean brownies (get the recipe here) so maybe I have two of those for breakfast with my eggs or a smoothie in place of the oatmeal I would normally eat. And oatmeal is one of my favorite meals no matter the time of day or season so putting it at night is actually lovely treat.
Make slingshot week work for YOU because the point of doing it at all is to help your body work.
My best advice: Don’t be afraid. They’re just calories. You know how to burn those like nobody’s business so wrangle your creativity to create your own diet hacks with your favorite foods and launch that metabolism!